Oct. 1. Anyone who's been paying attention to the big changes in health insurance coming our way knows that's the day we can start looking at insurance plans offered through the state's health plan finder, and even sign up, if we're ready.
Last week, I sat in on a session at the YWCA with a private insurance broker from Quincy, Matt McColm, who answered questions and encouraged us to sign up early.
If we wait, McColm said, we may find ourselves in a long line of people trying to sign up by the Dec. 23 deadline that would give you insurance by Jan. 1. If you're just hoping to avoid the penalty, you have until Feb. 23. But either way, McColm thinks there will be a couple of months of slow signups, followed by a mad rush.
I have a different reason for wanting you to sign up sooner. I'm doing a story that will come out in November, and I'd like to talk to you about your experience. I hope to do numerous blogs between now and then. For my story, and for blog postings along the way, I'd like to interview as many people as I can who are signing up through the state's exchange using various methods — by themselves at the computer, using an in person assister offered by local nonprofit groups, or using an insurance broker — one you have now, or one you hope to find.
I want to hear all of your stories — whether it was easy or difficult to do, whether you got a plan that you're satisfied with or not, whether you understand what you got.
Whether we like it or not, this is the start of a huge change for healthcare in America. I want to document it every step of the way.
Please call me at 509-997-2512, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I can put you on the list to contact you in October, when the sign-ups begin.